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Political Notes and Quotations from the Illinois State Fair

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News Politics: The Illinois State Fair is famous for its political theatre in addition to its fried delicacies, carnival games, and an 800-pound butter-coated cow. For the Statehouse press corps, that means setting aside at least two days in the middle of August every year to attend the candidate handshakes, stump speeches, and one-liners. The jokes on that last front varied from the brow-raiser to the knee-slapper. One remark that fits into the latter category was made by Republican candidate for attorney general Thomas DeVore, a lawyer who garnered popularity throughout the state by suing Gov. JB Pritzker to contest his ability to issue executive orders during the COVID-19 outbreak. DeVore attacked Kim Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney, during his stump speech at Republican Day on Thursday.

While Bailey also criticized Pritzker’s “soft hands” as compared to his work-worn “hands of a farmer” in a compelling contrast, the hellhole comment is the type of messaging that has made many in the GOP hesitant to even mention Bailey’s name.

Durkin said he’s optimistic the record-high 106 Republican candidates for the state House can make a dent in Democratic supermajorities, especially if candidates focus on economic conditions.“The cost of living, inflation,” he told me in an interview. “Those are the things on people’s minds, and they’ve had enough.”

Senate Majority Leader Don Harmon, of Oak Park, contrasted the two parties with alliteration as well.“It has become clear to anyone paying any attention to Washington or Springfield that there’s a party that whines and there’s a party that works,” he said. “Our party, the Democratic Party, is the party that works.”

Of the 106 GOP candidates for the House, Welch said, many of them were recruited by “Bruce Rauner’s buddies,” the Illinois Policy Institute think tank.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza went back to the Rauner well as well, reminiscing of her days as a foil to the impasse-allowing ex-governor who was in power as the state’s bill backlog rose to about $16 billion. Bills due now number about $2.2 billion, which means they’re paid within a few weeks of being received by the comptroller.

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